Friday, July 31, 2015

Featured Friday: Sweet & Healthy Treats to Beat the Heat

This summer the *former* Armstrong girls (now Courtney Wolf and Heather Rhodes) caught the blogging bug! We both decided it was time to take our thoughts public and join the crazy community of bloggers! Heather’s blog Rhodes of Confidence will be going live next week so we thought what better way to give you a preview than to have her be a guest for this week's Featured Friday! I’m so excited to introduce yall to my sister as she has a great sense of humor, a creative view on health, and a heart for encouraging others.

                                        Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography
I know most of us are ready for college football, fall, and Pumpkin Spice Latte’s but summer’s not over yet! Heather has created an awesome guide to healthy sweet treats to cool down when things heat up.

My passion for nutrition has taken me through winding "Rhodes" of what my opinion of "healthy" eating is. I believe in balance, real foods, convenience, treats, and so much ice cream. What I think is healthy for me may not be a nutritional philosophy that's best for you and that is so ok! My motto is "you be you!" Today, I've put together some summer treats that can be easily rearranged to impress varieties of different taste buds. 

Don't deny it ladies, from January through July bikini bods are on the mind. And no matter what shape or size- I hope you're owning yours this summer! Even though some places are preparing for fall, most of us are entering the last and hottest weeks of sweet heat. But whatever the weather, staying cool, fit, and confident is on our forecast for August. Here's a peak into my favorite summer snacks that keep me feeling light and looking right :)

My first rule of summer: Cold treats beat the heat. Always. That and always check for tags before hitting the beach (I spent a whole day last week rocking an inside out bikini). Something about the sweaty days of summer, flips on the craving switch in my mind for frozen, iced, and sweet desserts of all kinds. Therefore, it's by no mistake all my craving killers are chillers (obligatory blog rhyming).

Cocoa Crazy

I fell in love with Diane's Chocolate Covered Banana Bits. They're quick, easy, and have a small list of pronounceable ingredients. I'd recommend them to any one, any day. All summer, 2-3 of these bad boys created the perfect simple carb + low fat pre-cross fit snack. With my recent trial of a dairy free diet (for the anti- inflammation benefits with hopes to improve breakouts), I was craving a substitute for this treat to get me through early morning workouts. So, I made my own (check out the end of this post for the recipe). 

Ice-Cream Addiction
I can't even hide it. I legit have an ice-cream problem. Like a "spend an hour walking the frozen aisle of the grocery store, snoop in friend’s freezers (um… stranger’s too), just to casually gaze,  dream (and sometimes taste) the latest and greatest ice-cream creations" type problem. Ice-cream is bae. How do I make this work with a goal of balanced healthy eating, you ask? Just that- balance! Here are some of my favorite ways to fit bae into my diet and fit my booty into my shorts. 

Low calorie protein ice creams-
Halo Top and Artic Zero… Game Changers. Try these today, Iike tonight or right now. Look them up then finish this blog later while eating them. 

Halo Top
Arctic Zero
Homemade froyo proyo- In my opinion, protein is the missing (or deficient) ingredient in a lot of "fad" diets. Low calorie diets aren't fueling your body and maintaining your metabolism if they're filled with empty calories (coming from mainly sugar and carbs). I've made that mistake before but now protein is a staple macronutrient in my daily meals. How do I maintain high protein in my diet to build my muscles and rev that metabolism? Add it to my favorite things! Froyo is a summer favorite, so, below is a recipe for a protein frozen yogurt (proyo if you will), to use as a base for your favorite toppings. More summer treat rules--> Keep the concepts, change the contents, love the results. Swapping froyo to proyo to tone dat booty mo' doe'. 

Homemade natural ingredient options: Moreeeee recipes below for banana-based and coconut milk ice-creams. These are pretty paleo-ish and if desserts were allowed on whole30... Nope I won't even say it. 

Dairy free options: I alternate between homemade ice-creams and So Delicious brand coconut milk ice-cream. Right now my fridge is housing a carton of the creamy vanilla. I think it tastes like a snow cream dream. Don't worry though, that lone carton is not lonely. #squadgoals 

When you and bae break up: 
 Ice-cream isn't for everyone. So if it's not your thing, popsicles it is. There are tons of online recipes for variations of paleo, dairy-free, and all-natural homemade pops. But sometimes, ain't nobody got time for that, so I go to the farmers market and pick up individual pops for the hubs and I. Prep time: 5 minutes (all spent picking a flavor). Our market carries HYPPO Popsicles, so basically, I'm hooked. They're perfect after dinner or as a mid-afternoon cool-down. 

Don't forget though, as much as I love ice-cream, you'll feel better when you balance. Real, whole foods mixed with treats will help you to reach goals while enjoying life and avoiding a restricted lifestyle. 

Whether you're biting down on bananas, living it up with lemon cake Halo Top, or poppin’ bottles and sicles - keep cool, confident, and committed to your goals in August. Enjoy your summer- live in these moments. Pass on the pies and pastries, and instead, bring your own dessert to that late night cookout. Embrace your choices, own your ambition, and keep pushing towards the best you possible. Spend a little time reflecting on what your diet is doing for you and look into how you’re fueling your capable and powerful body. Thank your body for all it does and thank your God for all your beauty (and for ice-cream). 


"More Natural" Chocolate Covered Banana Bites & Dark Chocolate Shavings 
- 170 grams of banana (this was 2 medium sized bananas for me) 
- Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder 
- 1 ¼ tablespoon coconut oil 
- 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar 
Cut banana into slices and set aside. In a small bowl, mix sugar, cocoa powder, and coconut oil--> microwave (~6-10 seconds) until liquid and stir. Spray one plate or flat pan with coconut oil. You can then either dip each piece into the chocolate coating then place onto plate or place all bananas on plate and pour liquid over until all are coated (only do this option if using a plate with a dipped center, to avoid a kitchen disaster). Once fully coated, place plate in freezer for 1-2 hours. Then remove from freezer and with a sharp knife, scrape bananas one by one off plate. They may not come up easily and the coating will break into small shreds (this is good because the chocolate sauce is pretty strong, so a ¾ coated bite is perfect). I saved my extra coating left on the plate and used it as shavings to top my other desserts with—um, so good! 
Macros per bite (1f/3c/0.2p)

Proyo Base
-1 scoop of your favorite protein powder 
-1 6oz container of rage Greek yogurt (you can use of flavored) 
- ¼ packet sugar-free fat-free Jell-O pudding mix (pick a flavor or go with vanilla) 
- ½ banana 
-A sprinkle of xanthan gum (if you want an extra smooth base) 
Blend all ingredients. Freeze. Top accordingly. Eat dat stuff up. 

Cashew Milk Ice-cream
- ½ can Light Coconut Milk (a lot of recipes use whole fat- which is a perfect substitute; adjust according to your needs- you do you!) 
-2 cups Unsweetened Cashew Milk (or chocolate cashew milk if you're felling frisky) 
-2 tablespoons of honey (or agave) 
-Almond extract 
Mix all ingredients together then pour into ice cream maker. I have a Kitchen Maid and it take about 20-30 minutes to get to a good consistency. If you freeze leftovers, they'll need a good 10-15 minutes to at room temperature before eating. I top mine with more honey, fresh fruits, unsweetened coconut, or peanut butter. Makes about 670grams (I eat between 200-300grams per serving) 
Macros for 670grams (15.2f/38.5c/2p) 

Elvis Banana-Based Ice-cream 
-2 whole bananas 
-2 cups chocolate almond milk 
-2 tablespoons Crazy Richards peanut butter powder 
- ½ tablespoon carob chips 
-2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar
Mix all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. You can then put into ice-cream maker for enhanced texture or keep as is if you don't have an ice-cream maker. Top with more carob chips, honey, and bacon bits (1 crunchy piece of Jenny-O’s turkey bacon crumbled into bits)
Macros for ¼ of the recipe (4.2f/27.4c/4.5p) 

Be sure to let Courtney and I know if you re-create any of these recipes! We also love seeing your pictures of what healthy treats you come up with.

With Loads of Rhodes’ Cool Desserts,

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